Friday, November 30, 2012

teacher's pwet!

if you add one blog to your subscriptions this year, make it teacher's pwet by motsmots. it's a hilarious, heartwarming, inspiring webcomic about a the life of a "barrio teacher." i really can't recommend it enough. someone give this guy a book deal! someone invite him to komikon!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

isiah sheffer, 76

mr. sheffer,

thank you for selected shorts. listening to it helped me through many a rough time. thank you for showing me the special quality of a story told, the magic of a story heard, and the gift of a speaker of stories, of whom you were one of my favorites.

yours in tears and laughter,

Monday, November 26, 2012

call (out) and response

aklas isip posted a rebuttal to yesterday's post here, which can be summarized in his closing quotation: "everything you know is wrong --god." not surprising, coming from aklas. it's actually a small comfort to debate with people and know exactly what expect to hear from them.

jerald uy also responds: "the issue isn't really that i said komiks is dead, macoy is just out to get me!" sorry jerald, not everything is about you. and don't blame me, you put your own foot in your own mouth.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

komiks, dead or alive: the discussion that won't die

as a comics fan and someone who makes self-published comics, i've spent the last decade or so watching pinoy komiks redefine itself and struggle to bounce back from the 90's malaise that saw mainstream comics dwindle down to near zero.

i've watched the independent komiks scene, led by creators like budjette tan, gerry alanguilan, arnold arre, carlo vergara and the komikon team, make slow, gradual progress toward establishing itself as critically and financially viable. komiks shifted business models, moving from the banketa to the bookstore,  the newfangled comics convention circuit, and the web.

and yet, some people still insist that pinoy komiks is "dead." their definition of death varies slightly, but the thought remains the same.

the longtime komiks blogger/s who goe/s by the name "aklas-isip" posted a blog titled "WHY THERE IS STILL NO COMICS INDUSTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES Part 1" late last october, where he/they stated:

"...we find print publishers and potential investors shying away from local komiks publishing. We see these businessmen going into newspapers, textbooks, coloring books, school supplies, printing tagalog romance pocketbooks or reprinting American mainstream comics from Marvel and DC."

my response, which i posted as a comment, is still under moderation and has not yet appeared on the blog.

yesterday, jerald uy, a freelance writer and co-creator of the indie comic segovia solutions, posted this on his facebook page, the komiks reporter:

"Personal opinion: Komiks as a medium isn't dead. But a local comics industry is "dead" in the sense that there is no thriving industry for comics perse. The graphic novels/strip compilations we have in the market fall under the book publishing sector/industry."

now these two people claim to know about pinoy komiks. i wonder then how it escaped their notice that more mainstream publishers than ever are making, selling, and profiting from pinoy komiks. visprint regularly ends up on NBS bestseller lists with trese and kikomachine. pugad baboy is still going strong. summit media came out with underpass and kwentillion. precious pages has a bunch of titles coming out under the black ink imprint. heck, even atlas' lapu-lapu compilation is still in bookstores.

if you add indie komiks to the equation, you get the ever-growing number of conventions around the country. you get trese and arnold arre winning two national book awards each. gerry alanguilan's eisner-nominated elmer is a multiple-award-winning critical darling published in several languages. indie efforts like bayan knights, kalayaan, and sulyap are available at major bookstores. new indie comics-makers are appearing in record numbers. thousands of people are buying and reading their comics.

so how in the name of carlo caparas can anyone call pinoy komiks "dead," or non-existent, or repugnant to publishers?

komiks may be struggling--no one can deny it's currently nowhere near as big as it was during its heyday in the 50's and 80's--but it's struggling upwards after long stagnation. and guess what, the best is yet to come.

reading comments like those of aklas-isip and uy is to me like watching a person who's fallen over and trying to get back to his feet, and having other people say, "oh, look at him, he's done for. what a pity."

pinoy komiks, is not, in any sense of the word, dead. don't believe me? ask gerry alanguilan and the PDI:

"Adarna has taken on Arnold Arre’s works and have published “After Eden,” Visprint has published both Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s “Trese” as well as Carlo Vergara’s collected edition of “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah,” and National Bookstore has published “Skyworld” by Mervin Ignacio and Ian Sta. Maria, as well as “Elmer,” 2nd Edition by yours truly."

komiks is dead? over komiks' dead body!

Monday, November 19, 2012

mataas na paaralan ng lamanglupa

right click on image --> open link in new tab to enlarge

character sketches for a story idea about a bunch of tweenage mythological creatures going to a magical high school that is nothing like hogwarts. this is waaay down the line, with so many issues of school run still to go (i pretty much have the entire plot for school run all finished in my head, just need to set it down on the page). i just wanted to call dibs on the concept, and a few specific ideas.

still deciding on a working title...

"lamanglupa high"

"aswang academy"

"my PE teacher is a tikbalang"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

wow, just... wow.

Hominid from Brian Andrews on Vimeo is an animated short featuring "photo composites made from human and veterinary images creating hominid creatures." 

Monday, November 5, 2012

more on taal monster in the UK

i love it when people point out elements of my comics that i wasn't aware of as i was making it. case in point: taal volcano monster. i don't remember which komikon it was that carljoe told me he was writing a paper about that character (but i seem to recall that my first thought was something akin to, "psh, good luck.") and he asked me whether the "atsetse"-type comedy of tito, vic and joey had any kind of influence on the humor in that book.

a light bulb went off in my head then, because TVJ was a huge comedic inspiration to me growing up. some people have monty python or bill murray, i had T.O.D.A.S. and "send in the clowns." it was by watching their stuff that i saw the power of being able to make people laugh and imagined that maybe i could do the same.

in that conversation with carljoe, i realized (and he mentions this in his paper) that taal monster fits into a specific comedic tradition--not out of any conscious effort on my part, that was just the kind of humor that came naturally to me, i guess.

later, i learned that carljoe and co. would have to buy their own plane tickets and stuff to get to jolly olde england, and that they were setting up a concert/art auction with his music/comics friends. because i work digitally and didn't have any original art to sell, i offered to design the ticket instead, and here's how that came out:

i wasn't able to attend the fundraiser itself, then being in the midst of... hibernation... but seeing that everyone actually got to the conference, things must have gone well.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

taal volcano monster does the UK!

a few weeks ago, ubergeek carljoe javier (that's him on the left) flew to mansfield college, oxford, UK to present a paper on taal volcano monster.


academic paper. oxford. taal volcano monster.

three concepts i never would have put together in my wildest dreams.

the paper is titled "Filipino Humour and the Filipinisation of Foreign Tropes in Macoy’s Taal Volcano Monster vs. Evil Space Paru-Paro" and is pretty damn readable for a scholarly work. i didn't experience any college PTSD at all while reading it (or at least the draft available online).

so, wow, my everlasting gratitude to carljoe and the folks over at mansfield college. and my everlasting inggit to taal volcano monster, who has visited places i'll probably never reach.

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